Unsilent Night will finally be performed in Cincinnati! Thanks to Drew Klein and the Contemporary Arts Center, the inaugural Cincinnati edition will begin at the CAC and end at Fountain Square on Saturday, December 15 at 7 p.m. (arrive at 6:30 p.m.).
I remember the first time I heard about Phil Kline's Unsilent Night: it was December 2006, I was living in Vermont in the time, and I was listening to Studio 360's Redesigning Christmas while commuting from Burlington to Waterbury to do my choir director stint at the Waterbury Congregational Church.
After hearing "1, 2, 3, PLAY!" on the radio and listening to this reenactment of his music, dude, it was fantastic. The I-89 had never sounded better. My car was temporarily filled with gorgeous, celestial, and beautifully-dissonant-at-times ambient music.
As soon as I got home, I had to know more. After searching the Internet, I found the Unsilent Night website and read a description of the piece.
"Unsilent Night is an original composition by Phil Kline, written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December. It takes the form of a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Each participant gets one of four tracks of music in the form of a cassette, CD, or Mp3. Together all four tracks comprise Unsilent Night. The fact that the participants play different "parts" simultaneously helps create the special sound of the piece. Participants carry boomboxes, or anything that amplifies music, and simultaneously start playing the music. They then walk a carefully chosen route through their city’s streets, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener's perspective."
Unfortunately, Unsilent Night was not being performed in Burlington that year. And when I moved to Cincinnati in 2007, it wasn't being performed there either. I even had this crazy idea to start one of these performances last year, but my stint as a graduate student/adjunct professor kind of made life busy.
HOWEVER, it is finally being performed in six days!
I will have to grade juries from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on that same day in Delaware.
I am heartbroken.
If you are in Cincinnati, go! Download the Unsilent Night app or download the mp3s bring a boombox OR carry one of my tape recorders…because I'm letting the CAC borrow them for this long-awaited event. It is my way of being there in person, so please go and participate. (And take lots of pictures. Please.)